Competition spurs Fruita junior to district meet throwing sweep

Seventeen-year-old discus and shot put thrower Anthony Martin, a junior at Fruita Monument High School, heaves the discus under the watchful eyes of the team’s throwing coach Bill Schaefer.

There’s that moment in every good athlete’s life when you can almost see the light bulb going on over his head — an ‘aha’ moment.

For Fruita Monument High School junior Anthony Martin, that moment came last Friday.

That’s when he won the discus and the shot put at the District 51 track meet.

It came about, he said, after a good week of practice.

“It was just getting my feet in the perfect spot, turning my hips, leveling my shoulders and keeping my head up,” Martin said of his discus throw of 139 feet, 3 inches, his best in a meet by a whopping six feet.

That was because of the tireless efforts of Wildcats throwing coach Bill Schaefer.

“I think last week was the first week that Schaefer actually broke down the steps,” Martin said.

“He helped pace off the steps.”

It was also because of what Martin said is the motivation he gets from throwing with — and against — his teammates every week.

“Last year we had (Alex Rodriguez). Me and him traded off (throwing farther),” Martin said.

This year it’s Levi Davenport providing the in-house competition at practice every day.

Ironically, Martin didn’t think his winning throw last week was that good at the time.

“When I threw it, it felt smoother, which didn’t feel right,” he said. “I didn’t think I threw that far.

“When I saw the mark, I (realized the technique) should be smoother,” he said.

The toss won the event by more than two feet.

The light bulb went on.

His shot put of 42-10 was his best throw in a meet by seven inches and also gave him a victory of more than two feet.

Having thrown both the shot put and discus in practice even farther, he believes he’s got a couple of good throws left in him in order to qualify for the Class 5A state meet. The top 18 individuals in each event qualify for the state championship in two weeks.

His best shot put mark probably won’t earn state qualification but his discus throw last week ranked him 21st, only three spots and two feet out of a qualifying berth. If he can make it to state, it will accomplish one of his goals this year.

“When I qualified for (state in) wrestling, I said I want to qualify in track,” he said.

With only two meets remaining, this weekend’s Tiger Invitational and next week’s Southwestern League Championships, Martin realizes he’s running out of time to get that state-qualifying throw in.

If he keeps making gains like he did last week, that may not be a problem.


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